Nothing, my friend, can give you any idea of the picturesque beauty of the Puy basin, and I know of no other site that is so difficult to describe. It is not like Switzerland, it is less daunting; it is not like Italy, it is more beautiful; it is central France with all its dormant Vesuvius volcanoes covered in rich vegetation.
This is how George Sand spoke of her love for Velay. And it is hard to disagree with her… Velay is filled with exceptional landscapes recalling faraway destinations and travels, but that you can see just a few miles away.
Coming to Velay is a chance to enjoy wide-open spaces and natural landscapes. The Puy-en-Velay region is a land of volcanoes resembling Canada for hikers walking along the shores of Lake Bouchet. Lava and water met in the depths of the earth’s crust, giving birth to a huge crater that became the lake we see today. Lake Bouchet is a very popular spot with swimmers in summer and is a great place for a walk in all seasons. A change of scenery guaranteed…
An air of Tuscany in
Le Puy-en-Velay town centre
A visit to Le Puy-en-Velay has an Italian flavour. The facades on buildings in the town centre are colourful, recalling the sunshine and the south of Tuscany. In summer, the fragrances from local specialities in the market fill the little streets. You feel the cobblestones beneath your feet in the preserved sector leading up to the Cathedral.
Old Puy streets
The famous Plot square in Le Puy-en-Velay
This is one of the best-known natural monuments in Velay. The Corbeuf ravine in Rosières is a clay canyon reminiscent of Colorado. The colours, rifts, narrow crests and small ravines immerse visitors in a typical landscape of the American West.
The Corbeuf ravine